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What do all these terms mean??

Written by Melissa Pardoe


Posted on February 12 2021

RTS, front bleeder, topper, PUL, destash. Do you know what any of these terms mean? If you’re new or interested in cloth reusable menstrual pads you might have heard some of these being thrown around, but what do they mean? Let me try to explain the most popular that you might have heard.

RTS- “ready to ship”. These pads or accessories have already been made and are awaiting your order! Sometimes cloth pad makers have RTS pads and custom spots also available. By saying RTS, it means you can order and have it shipped quite soon.

Front/back bleeder- sometimes women might notice that the majority of their period lands on the front or back of their pads. This is what is meant by a front or back bleeder pad. Depending on which area needs more coverage, the maker might make it longer or wider to accommodate the extra “traffic”.

Exposed core- this term sounds like something that would get you a criminal record, but it actually means that the absorbent part of the pad is located above the flashy, beautiful top fabric. This can benefit people who have side leaks since it’s creating a path of least resistance, directing the flow to travel up or down the pad instead of sideways.

Topper- this refers to the top fabric of the cloth pad. It’s usually the pretty printed side of the pad, but not always. A good rule of thumb is that the side of the pad with more stitching on it is usually the top. This is because the more holes that are in the fabric, the more blood you will allow to flow down into the core.

Core- this one isn’t that hard to figure out, but I like to include everything to make it complete. This is the absorbent layer of the pad and as mentioned before it can be located inside or on top of the pad. I have even begun making pads that have removable cores.

Backer/backing- this is the layer that provides a barrier between your flow and your underwear. It might be fleece, PUL, or some other fabric that is resistant to water.

PUL (polyurethane laminate)- this is a material that has been chemically bonded to another to provide water PROOF abilities. My store uses bamboo sherpa bonded to PUL to create pads that will give you peace of mind for long nights or times when you don’t want to have to change your pad often. PUL is the same fabric that is bonded to polyester knit to make pad wrappers and wet bags.

Destash- we don’t want you to ever use this word! Just kidding. This means that you are selling your cloth pads as used items. Sometimes it’s because the woman needs money for something slightly more important, because she found a style of pad that worked better for her, or because she got bored of her “stash” and wanted to get new ones. Yes, there are Facebook groups out there for buying and selling used cloth pads. You can rinse your pads in a mild bleach water rinse to sterilize them from the previous owner. We always hope that our pads will not become a source of boredom and will easily last the 8-10 years that cloth pads are said to work. 

Please let me know if there are any other terms you would like to be covered in a part two.



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